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350-slots up for grabs for new army recruits

PSWD: 8ID brings hope to the people

NSPDF task force on good governance finalizes its action plan

Leyte guv wades through flooded villages to distribute relief goods, meds, other aid

Naval town mayor signs ordinance for a smoke-free municipality

Maslog town mayor yearns for rubber boats, evacuation center

DILG spearheads Climate Change Adaptation summit for LCEs, NGOs

Tacloban City declares state of calamity

Maslog mayor fears hunger in his town

Southern Leyte Solon seeks implementation of Republic Act 10121




DENR-Biliran urges residents to preserve marine turtles

February 10, 2011

NAVAL, Biliran  –  Residents of Biliran province are urged to preserve marine turtles that thrive in the seas of the island province because this particular marine life is going extinct.

The call was made by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Biliran Provincial Office through Cristy Santos, Chief of the Protected Area Wildlife Coastal Zone Management Services during the Kapihan sa PIA on Thursday live at Radyo Natin-Naval.

Santos said, the residents of the province especially those living along the coastal areas must work together and report to proper authorities once they know of anybody catching marine turtles for food.

She informed that there are only eight kinds of turtles in the world and only seven of these kinds are left.  Of the seven types left, five are found in the Philippines and three of these types are critically endangered.

She added that anybody caught butchering marine turtles and other marine mammals will be dealt with according to the law.

She bared that two islands of the municipality of Almeria in Biliran province namely Dalutan and Capiñahan were sighted to be nesting places of marine turtles.  In fact, she said, a group is currently conducting monitoring activities of these two islands if this particular marine life is really nesting in these islands.

“As marine turtles and other marine mammals are found in Biliran seas, this is an indicator that our seas are clean and pristine,” she said.

“Likewise, the presence of marine turtles in our seas indicates that Biliran seas are abundant with fish”, she added.

“The preservation of the marine turtles in our seas is everybody’s concern in the province because this marine treasures in our seas, are diminishing in number”, she said further.

“Let’s help one another to maintain a balanced marine environment”, she said.





PNP to LGUs: Donate lots and get a brand new PNP building

February 10, 2011

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar  –  The Philippine National Police (PNP) Eastern Samar Provincial Director PSSupt Manuel E. Cubillo urged the local government units of Eastern Samar to look for donors of lots for the construction of a PNP building.

In an interview on Thursday, Cubillo urged the LGUs to look for donors of lots with unconditional terms.

“The PNP is willing to spend for the construction of a PNP Headquarters provided the donor of the lots does not pose conditions,” Cubillo said.

The building could cost up to P5 million like the newly constructed PNP building now proudly erected inside the PNP camp at Borongan, Eastern Samar.

Cubillo confirmed that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) constructed the 3-storey building.

“The buildings in other municipal stations may vary depending on the LGU,” the police director said. He noticed that even in Borongan, the capital town, there is no separate PNP building yet.

“We have negotiated with Mayor Fe Abunda and we are awaiting for her feedback,” Cubillo added.

He is hopeful that in time, the capital town can point to a site where to erect a PNP building.

Sometimes donors have conditions like, for only ten or twenty years, the PNP would rather have one without conditions, the PNP official offered.

Presently, some ten LGUs have yet to have their own PNP building.





Philhealth renews card holders in Maasin City

By R. G. CADAVOS, PIA Southern Leyte
February 10, 2011

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  Out of more than 3,000 member-cardholders of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) in Maasin City, 2,500 are qualified to renew their Identification Cards, City Social Welfare Office staff reported, Wednesday.

The decline was based on the Philhealth Member Registration Form (PMRF) whether the income of the family was raised or the family members had decreased, among other reasons. Though, they are also considering families with more children for the renewal of Philhealth cards, the report added.

For this year, 2011 the city government allocated the same amount as for the past year with P1.5 million for the Philheath indigence program, a reliable source from the City Budget Office told.

While the Office of District Congressman Roger G. Mercado appropriated at least P1 million for the same purpose with 846 cardholders to be renewed for this year, out of 4,000 last year, still depending on their recipients’ status.

It was learned that the recipient card holders were identified by the city social welfare office from all the barangays of Maasin City. Processing of their documents is now on-going, it was noted, while Philhealth has been closely coordinating with the City Social Welfare Office for the processing of the same.

Philhealth identification card is renewed annually. Its main objective is to provide all Filipinos with mechanism to gain financial access to quality health care services within 15 years of its implementation.





US based Filipino nurses to conduct surgical, medical and dental missions in Southern Leyte

By ES GORNE, PIA Southern Leyte
February 10, 2011

MAASIN CITY  –  It will be almost a year ahead but preparations for the surgical, medical and dental missions in Southern Leyte is underway.

About 60 medical volunteers based in Washington D.C., USA have signified to actively participate in the forthcoming missions on January 2012 this early, Mrs. Luz V. Mercado, the better half of Congressman Roger G. Mercado disclosed in an interview with PIA Wednesday.

Mercado reported that Ms. Alice Andam, president of the Philippine Nurses Association Metropolitan Washington D.C., Inc personally came to the province and laid the groundworks such as the hotel accommodations, hospital facilities that they will need during the week-long missions.

She further said that the group targeted to reach out to some 4,000 patients during the missions and provide free medicines, space at the hospital, as well where Ms. Andam had already conferred with the provincial medical officer, Dr. Joselito Trumata of the Salvacion Oppus Yniguez Memorial Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH) and division heads.

Mrs. Mercado further said that mission will facilitate for the treatments of cataract, abdominal cases, thyroidectomy, hernioplasty, lumpectomy, hysterectomy, dental cases, among other health problems.

The gigantic undertaking shall be sponsored by Congressman Roger G. Mercado and the Limasawa Development Foundation (LIDEF) based in Maasin City, she added.

Last year, both Cong. Mercado and the LIDEF sponsored a surgical and medical mission in the city where thousands of the constituents gladly availed of the much needed medical treatments which become a possible dream for them thru the kind-hearted medical doctors and nurses, who volunteered to such a noble cause all the way from Manila.





Bloomberg official visits the municipality of Naval

February 9, 2011

NAVAL, Biliran  –  Dr. Maria Soledad, Bloomberg Project-National Team Leader in the Philippines and the Chief Health Program Officer and Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH) in Manila, visited the municipality of Naval on Monday, February 7, to attend the launching of Municipal Ordinance No. 03-2011 otherwise known as the Smoke-Free Ordinance of the Municipality of Naval in the Province of Biliran.

Dr. Antonio who was accompanied by her staff together with Elvira Lanza, regional training nurse of the DOH regional office in Candahug, Palo, Leyte was the guest speaker during the launching ceremony of the smoke-free ordinance.

In her speech, she informed that she recognized the efforts of the local government unit (LGU) of Naval through Mayor Susan Parilla, together with the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members and Vice-Mayor Villordon that a 100% smoke-free environment will be achieved through the passage of the ordinance.

She added that the launching of the smoke-free ordinance in the municipality of Naval is just the beginning of a more strict campaign so that the area will be safe from passive smoke and fresh air will be inhaled by the residents.

In an interview with PIA-Biliran, Dr. Antonio said that Naval town has a good edge over other contenders to the Orchid Award 2011.

The municipality of Pintuyan and Maasin City all of Southern Leyte are among the contenders of the Orchid Award 2011 in Region 8.

The launching of Municipal Ordinance No. 03-2011 or the Smoke-Free Ordinance of the municipality of Naval ended with a motorcade around the poblacion and the nearby barangays with the mascot “Yosi, Kadiri” as an added attraction to the residents who watched the motorcade pass by.

The mascot likewise sent a message to smokers that smoking is a horrible activity as it was related of how the “Yosi, Kadiri” mascot look like.





Ochoa says reforms in AFP ongoing

Press Release
February 9, 2011

MALACAÑANG  –  Reforms in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are underway to institutionalize the much-needed improvement and transformation of the military, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday said.

Ochoa said the reforms were in line with the Aquino Administration’s determination to address the problems and issues raised in the Armed Forces.

“We know that we really need to make some improvements and reforms and we’re doing that. I have talked to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and asked him to line up actual and detailed reforms that we’re trying to institute now,” Ochoa said.

“My only appeal is for people not to drag everybody in the AFP or the entire institution into any of these (controversies). This is the more important thing,” he added.

The Executive Secretary explained that when Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin took office in July 2010, steps to tighten budget spending, process of procuring supplies and equipment, and internal controls were implemented.

These efforts are intended to ensure that transactions are transparent and that the AFP coffers will be safe from abuse and misuse, Ochoa said.

One of the key changes is the strict enforcement of the provisions of the Commission on Audit (COA) Circular No. 97-2002: Reinstatement with Amendments of the Rules and Regulations on the Granting, Utilization and Liquidation of Cash Advances Provided under COA No. 90-331 to address the “conversion” of the AFP funds.

In line with this, the administration has designated special disbursement officers (SDOs) whose task is to attend to the financial requirements of the Department National Defense (DND) agencies and AFP units through the cash advance system.

The administration also has strengthened the internal control systems in all agencies and units under the AFP and DND by conducting a pre-audit on all procurement activities.

This process eliminates ghost deliveries of goods and services and complements the post-audit operations to be performed by resident COA auditors assigned to all procuring units of the AFP and DND.

At the same time, a memorandum of agreement forged by the DND Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) with the Coalition Against Corruption expanded the group’s representation to the committee proceedings.

Aside from representatives from the Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development and the Makati Business Club, three members of the Defense Press Corps will sit as observers in the BAC deliberations.





DILG sets training to improve governance of barangay officials in Eastern Visayas

February 9, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) here scheduled a training that will help barangay officials in Eastern Visayas improve their capability in governance.

In a report by Myles Joseph E. Colasito, Local Government Operations Officer (LGOO) V and at the same time Regional Information Officer (RIO) of DILG 8, he said that DILG is now ready for the second component of its training program for barangay officials under the Barangay Newly Elected Officials (BNEO) Component 2 or “Laying the Foundation”.

Colasito said that the three-day BNEO Component 2 training that will be conducted on-site in five to seven batches of barangays, reflected, Secretary Jesse M. Robredo’s priority thrusts to improve their way of governance.

He said that the training consists of four parts namely: 1) general orientation on barangay governance and administration, 2) improving transparency and participation, 3) enhancing performance through accountability and 4) laying the grounds for development.

“Barangay officials are expected to be able to define their roles and functions as provided under the Local Government Code of 1991 and discuss the importance of barangay planning and legislation after the training”, he said.

Colasito further said that they will be able also to identify basic principles of community mobilization and discuss the importance of mobilizing citizens’ participation in governance and come up with the Barangay Agenda for Governance and Development (Barangay AGAD) which shall serve as their launching pad for the preparation of their respective Barangay Development Plans (BDP) by the middle of the year.

He informed that 48,290 elected and appointed officials from 4,390 barangays in Region 8 are to be trained under the BNEO Component 2 training program.

Each barangay shall send 11 participants namely: Punong Barangay, seven (7) Kagawads, SK Chairman, Brgy. Secretary and Brgy. Treasurer, Colasito added.





Southern Leyte honors late Ruperto K. Kangleon, declares Feb 27 as Memorial Day

By R.G. CADAVOS, PIA Southern Leyte
February 9, 2011

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  Upon representations of the Maasin City Federation of Senior Citizens and the Maasin Veteran’s Post of the Veterans’ Federation of the Philippines, Gov. Damian G. Mercado declared February 27, 2011 and every year thereafter as Ruperto K. Kangleon Memorial Day.

Local Government Unit Executive Proclamation No 1, series of 2011, signed by Hon. Mercado stated that “the province in particular and the whole country in general recognize the late Col. Ruperto K. Kangleon as a respected war hero of national and international prominence who brought honor to Southern Leyteños and the first Senator and Secretary of the National Defense who came from Southern Leyte.”

February 27 will also commemorate Col. Kangleon’s death as well as to honor World War II guerillas and veterans throughout the province, it noted.

The declaration, based on the approved Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No 807-2010, urged all LGUs as well as the schools and other local government offices and institutions within the province to celebrate the same occasion with appropriate programs and activities.

It added that younger generations of the province need to know and be reminded of the exemplary achievements of the late statesman as an outstanding military officer and World War II Guerilla Commander which deserve emulation by the people.

Meanwhile, preparations to commemorate his 53rd death anniversary on the 27th of February at Macrohon Municipal Grounds were already arranged. A Holy Mass will be celebrated, to be followed by a short program and the unveiling of Col. Kangleon’s statue will follow thereafter by municipal and provincial officials and Cong. Roger G. Mercado.

During the program, highlights of the life of the late statesman will be discussed by Willie O. Justimbaste, President of Senior Citizens Federation of Maasin City and the Values from Ruperto K. Kangleon will be delivered by Rafael S. Gerong, Jr. Maasin City’s Executive Assistant, while Gov. Mercado will officially proclaim the Ruperto K. Kangleon Memorial Day.





No tree-cutting permit issued in Southern Leyte – DENR

By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern Leyte
February 9, 2011

MAASIN CITY  –  The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) provincial office here declared that no tree-cutting permit was issued in any place all over Southern Leyte province.

Ricardo Tomol, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO), made the statement when Philippine Information Agency (PIA) called for updates today, in relation to the ban imposed by President Benigno Aquino III on logging operations across the country.

Last week, President Aquino signed Executive Order No. 23 imposing a moratorium on the cutting of trees nationwide, in the light of the killer floods and landslides that happened last month caused by successive days of non-stop rains.

PENRO Tomol said the President’s order for tree-cutting ban was directed at preserving natural and residual forests, but his agency is still awaiting the guidelines of EO 23 for specific details and instructions.

Still, in Southern Leyte province, no permits were issued for these areas, in accordance with an earlier law initiated by Cong. Roger Mercado which was similar in nature to the President’s EO 23, said Tomol.

What was issued permits are only for Community-based Forestry Management (CBFM) programs, and these involved planted trees in titled, private lots.

Under the CBFM arrangement, natural grown trees in private, titled lots are allowed to be cut, but in EO 23 such arrangement is no longer allowed, Tomol said.





Another four (4) high-powered firearms recovered by government troops in Eastern Samar

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
February 8, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  More and more information on the current activities, whereabouts and terroristic plans of the communist New People’s Army were provided by the people of Eastern Visayas to the troops of 8ID as a result of the latter’s intensified implementation of the IPSP Bayanihan. Just this morning at around 7:21, the troops of 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion after receiving an information from the residents of McArthur, Eastern Samar that a group of more or less twenty five (25) fully armed communist terrorist under certain Jovencio Daiz, platoon leader of the Florencio Elairon Command of Eastern Samar Provincial Party Committee (ESPPC) of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) of the CPP/NPA/NDF were seen marauding in the vicinity of Sitio Cagbunot, Barangay Macapagal of same municipality.

Immediately, LTC Hermilo Demafiles, commander of 14IB has dispatched his troops led by 1LT Dariel Dagpin to act on the reported enemy presence. Upon reaching the area, they encountered the said communist terrorists in a firefight that lasted for about thirty (30) minutes and afterwhich the NPAs scampered and withdrew towards different directions leaving behind four (4) M16 armalite rifles that were recovered by the operating troops in the encounter site. There was no reported casualty on the government’s side while undetermined on the communist terrorist’s side.

At around 9:20 a.m., the pursuing troops again encountered the fleeing rebels just few kilometers away from the first encounter site.  As of press time, the troops of 14IB are on continuous pursuit operations against the fleeing communist terrorists.

Meanwhile, Major General Mario Chan, commander of the 8th Infantry Division, lauded his troops for accomplishing the mission and for a job well done. He also directed them to press on the pursuit operation to neutralize the fleeing enemy.  “The continuing success of our operations in the area of Eastern Samar has kept the communist terrorists on the run. We should therefore continue with the initiative and pursue them so that we could put an end to their terroristic activities against our people.”

Gen. Chan has again expressed his appreciation to the people who are behind in giving the timely and accurate information to the troops. “I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for the continued support of the people by giving us the information that led to the success of our operation. It only goes to show that the people are already with us in our quest to attain the genuine peace in the area, the good general concludes.





Advocates are angered by P-Noys’ withdrawal of support on RH

Press Release
February 8, 2011

QUEZON CITY  –  A group of leading reproductive health supporters is frustrated and angered with P-Noy’s sudden withdrawal of his support on responsible parenthood (RP) and reproductive health (RH). 

According to Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), P-Noy’s change of mind came as a shock and at the same time angered reproductive health advocates who had high hopes on him.

“Malacanang’s announcement of its priority bills which excluded RP/RH measure came unexpected at a time when Filipino women, families, and parents had high hopes for the President to carry out a national policy in support of his pledge regarding responsible parenthood.  We understand that P-Noy is under so much pressure since the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had intensified their campaign against the RH Bill health, but we did not expect him to backtrack on his position on this very important issue,” laments San Pascual.

His withdrawal of support on the reproductive health/responsible parenthood bill is essentially turning his back on his social contract with the Filipino People, which he himself defined during his campaign for the presidency, laments San Pascual.  “What about the lives of women, especially poor mothers who have long been suffering from the failure of the government to respond to their reproductive health needs?” he added.

“We are dismayed that P-Noy has chosen to accommodate the bishops over the interest of the greater majority. Malacanang should not use the unfinished dialogue with CBCP as lame excuse for not certifying the reproductive health/responsible parenthood, which Malacanang admitted is in the top of the president’s human development agenda. It would be unfair for women to continue to become hostage of a dialogue and debate that has been going on for the past ten years,” he stressed.

“This is the time that President must act on behalf of poor women and families by standing firm on his promise to pursue responsible parenthood.  We urge him to reconsider the inclusion of RP/RH bill as a priority bill that must be submitted to LEDAC” he said further.

We call on upon the president to heed the voice of the people who are truly affected by the lack of reproductive health education and services and not give in to dogmatic impositions of few bishops, ended San Pascual.





North Samar PNP records lower crime index in 2010

February 8, 2011

CATARMAN, Northern Samar  –  The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Northern Samar has recorded lower crime index in 2010. This was learned from Col. Brigido Unay, the PNP provincial director of the province in an interview conducted by the Philippine Information Agency.

Unay revealed that for the period January 1 to December 31, 2010, the crime volume registered a total of 215 incidents, 49% lesser than the 419 incidents reported during same period in 2009. The average monthly crime rate recorded at 3.3 incidents per 100,000 populations indicating a decrease of 2.8 incidents.

He further said that during the period, the office solved a total of 36 crimes and cleared 31 out of the total crime incidents reported to the PNP, which showed a crime solution efficiency rating of 17%. The decrease in the crime solution efficiency was also due to the changes of parameters set forth by the National Headquarters under Letter of Instruction (LOI) 02/2001 - Unit crime Periodic Report.

Index crimes which are crimes against persons and properties, totaled to 104 reflecting 59% share of the total crime volume. The average monthly index crime rate was pegged at 1.5 incidents per 100,000 populations and that is 2.9 incidents less than the 4.4 rate obtained in the previous year, the provincial director added.

On the non-index crimes, 67 cases were recorded for the period indicating a decrease of 69 cases compared to last year figure of 147 incidents.

Meanwhile, the prevalent crimes committed during the period were murder, 42; physical injury, 29; homicide, 4; rape, 7; robbery, 8; and theft, 1.

Moreover he said the crime clock and crime and prone areas in index crime is equal to one (1) index crime happens every 3 days and 12 hours.  For non-index crime, it is equal to 1 non-index crime happens every 3 days, 6 hours, 43 minutes and 12 seconds. The total crime volume is equal to 1 incident happens every 1 day, 16 hours, 33 minutes and 36 seconds, he stressed.


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